Malaysia calls out Meta Platforms for removing Facebook posts on PM’s meeting with Hamas leader

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim

15th May 2024 – (Kuala Lumpur) Malaysia’s Communications Minister, Fahmi Fadzil, expressed strong dissatisfaction towards Meta Platforms on Tuesday, demanding an explanation for the removal of Facebook posts by local media that covered Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasised his positive relations with Hamas’ political leaders while denying any involvement in the group’s military activities.

As a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, Malaysia, a Muslim-majority nation, has taken action by sending a letter to Meta, urging them to clarify the removal of posts from two media organizations regarding the prime minister’s meeting. In addition, Meta closed the Facebook account of a third outlet that covers Palestinian issues.

Fadzil, who serves as the Communications Minister and government spokesperson, condemned Meta’s actions, particularly emphasizing that they were related to the prime minister’s official visit to Qatar. He expressed his disappointment in an organization based in the United States, highlighting their lack of respect for media freedom and the utilization of their platform.

Meta Platforms has yet to respond to Malaysia’s concerns regarding the removal of the Facebook posts.

Last October, Fahmi Fadzil cautioned that strong measures could be taken against Meta and TikTok if they were found to be blocking pro-Palestinian content on their platforms.

Malaysia has long advocated for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In response to previous accusations, Meta stated that they were not intentionally suppressing voices on their Facebook platform, refuting claims that they were restricting content supporting the Palestinian cause.